First US Tennis Match With Fans Attending Featured COVID-19 Positive Player

Competitive tennis returned in early July with the DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first tennis match to allow fans, albeit only around 450 people, but another issue arose. One of the players tested positive for COVID-19 after taking part in his first match.

According to Deadline, a player named Frances Tiafoe tested positive on July 3. He initially received negative tests upon his arrival at the stadium, but he later showed symptoms. Event officials confirmed the news with a statement on the morning of July 4. Tiafoe left the event while officials brought in a replacement for his matches.

"Frances Tiafoe has tested positive for the coronavirus," the statement read. "Like all the players, Tiafoe was tested prior to or upon arrival in Atlanta and has passed daily temperature tests. Following his match, he was showing symptoms and was retested and tested positive.

"Tiafoe has left the event site and will not participate in the remainder of the event. Upon learning this information, we immediately began deep cleaning and sanitizing the event site, and enacted protocols in place for contact tracing and alerting individuals who may have been exposed. The health and safety of our event participants, staff and attendees are a top priority, and we will continue to diligently enforce all guidelines from local health officials. Christopher Eubanks will replace Tiafoe for the remainder of the event."

Tiafoe also released a statement on Twitter saying that he tested positive. The tennis star said he has spent time training in Florida and tested negative in the week leading up to the competition. Tiafoe confirmed that he went into quarantine while following protocols and had future tests scheduled. "While I've been so excited to get back out there, the health and safety of everyone continues to be a top priority," Tiafoe said.


Tennis also dealt with similar issues at a contest in Europe. Novak Djokovic — tennis' No. 1 player — and his wife contracted the virus at the Adria Tour exhibition in Eastern Europe. Additionally, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Ćorić of Croatia also tested positive.